Posted: March 22, 2007

An issues landscape for nanotechnology standards

(Nanowerk News) The Institute for Food and Agricultural Standards has released a report titled "An Issues Landscape for Nanotechnology Standards".
Over the last several years a wide range of new nanotechnologies has been developed with many more under development around the world. These new technologies pose a wide range of challenges for standards, from developing proper nomenclature to issues of interchangeability, risk, privacy, worker and consumer health and safety, and environmental protection.
Last September, the Agrifood Nanotechnology Project at Michigan State University, through the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation, convened an international nanotechnology standards workshop to help bridge the standards interests of a variety of communities that typically do not communicate on these issues, but which nonetheless maintain a mutual interest in them. Workshop participants were drawn internationally and included representatives from business and industry, government regulatory agencies, labor, non-governmental organizations, trade associations, standards-setting bodies, as well as numerous academic and technical disciplines.
Participants identified and debated key issues surrounding five critical standards themes:
(1) Timing and Standards Setting
(2) Product versus Process Standards
(3) International Harmonization
(4) Integration of Operational Standards
(5) Participation and Transparency in Standards-Setting Processes
These proceedings reflect a synthesis of ideas and are intended to serve as a roadmap to help inform the standards deliberations of agencies and organizations confronting emerging nanotechnologies and their potential applications.
Source: Institute for Food and Agricultural Standards
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